Right To Privacy/Family Life

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Wieder and Guarnieri v UK: A Justifiably Expansive Approach to the Extraterritorial Application of the Right to Privacy in Surveillance Cases

In September last year, a Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in Wieder and Guarnieri v. the United Kingdom (nos. 64371/16 and 64407/16), which became final in December. The judgment is an important contribution to the ever-growing international case law on the extraterritorial application of human rights. Briefly, the Court held that the interception, storing or processing of data of any individual that implicates their right to privacy will be within the jurisdictional scope of the European Convention if such surveillance activities are done on the state’s own territory, even if the individual concerned is located outside it. This is, to my mind, exactly the right result. Ten years ago, I published an article on privacy in the digital age in the Harvard International Law Journal, which extensively dealt with the application of human rights to electronic surveillance activities conducted by states against individuals abroad. I argued for an expansive approach: that the right to privacy applied to any surveillance activity affecting the…

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Life & Death, an Unstable Scale: The European Court of Human Rights Approach to Euthanasia in Mortier v. Belgium

On 4 October 2022, the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) issued a Chamber judgment in the case of Mortier v. Belgium. This landmark ruling is the first-ever ruling of the ECtHR on the compliance of euthanasia, once performed, with the rights protected under the European Convention of Human Rights (“ECHR”). Additionally,…

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‘Dangerous’ Abortion Cases and the Dangers of Misportraying ECtHR’s Inadmissibility Decisions

On the 8th of June, 2023, the European Court of Human Rights (‘ECtHR’, ‘the Court’) published its inadmissibility decision in the case of A.M. and Others v. Poland. The latter concerned the alleged violation of Article 8 of European Convention of Human Rights (‘ECHR’) following the legislative amendments, which were introduced by the Polish Constitutional…

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Milestone or missed opportunity? The ECtHR Grand Chamber judgment in Fedotova v. Russia on the legal recognition of same-sex couples

On the 17th of January 2023, the European Court of Human Rights issued its long-awaited Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Fedotova v. Russia (nos. 40792/10, etc). Although the Court has dealt numerous times with the rights of same-sex couples, this was the first time that the Grand Chamber had to deal with the…

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A new variety of rights-based climate litigation: a challenge against the Energy Charter Treaty before the European Court of Human Rights

In the last couple of years, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has become a hotspot for rights-based climate change litigation. At the time of writing, seven cases are pending before the Court, with applicants seeking to challenge various aspects of domestic climate change laws and policies in the various respondent states, arguing that they violate their…

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